But God! - When Mercy Steps in by Pastor Ayo Ajani

Full Biography of Pastor Ayo Ajani

He has made us vessels of mercy!

Ephesians 2:1-4

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…”

Paul here is speaking concerning our life before salvation, before we received the message of the gospel. Everything we did was under the domain and the authority of darkness, “…the spirit that now worketh…” By nature we were children of wrath, destined unto wrath. If the story was going to change, it would not be based on our action, but based on a new nature…

But God, who is rich in mercy!

Mercy stepped in.

Romans 9:22-23

“What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,”

Paul here describes man as vessels of wrath, with an example in verse 17 - Pharaoh. Pharaoh was standing in the way of God’s people, and God’s wrath - 10 plagues - was released on an entire nation just to deliver Israel. Think of it - the river turning to blood, the frogs and flies, in one night all the first born sons died! We celebrate God’s power in these events, but the Bible tells us that this was not God’s priority. God “…endured [this] with much long-suffering…” In other words this was not in the nature and character of God. God only did it because He had to, because Pharaoh was standing in the way. 

If God displayed His power so much that we are still in awe of what He did in His vessels of wrath, how much more in His vessels of mercy? In other words, there is such a display of God’s power that is expected in our lives that will leave the world in wonder!

What is the essence of all God did in Ephesians 2:4? That the vessels and the children of wrath might become vessels and children of mercy. Salvation was the means to this end. God had to do it to give Himself the legality for what He really wanted to do - which is to shower us with His goodness. He is rich in mercy, not rich in wrath. 

The word mercy is taken from the same root word as bowels, which describes perfectly what God’s mercy is. When your bowels are pressed for a release, you can do nothing else but release! Now think of it - God is pressed to show us mercy! In salvation He took out the only thing that stood in the way of releasing His mercy and goodness to you. We are talking about the overwhelming disposition and desire of God, where God is pressed just to do you good and to show himself strong in your behalf. God will break all rules and all protocol if need be just to display His mercy in your behalf!

Say this; I am a vessel fitted unto the mercy of God.

If you can explain everything you see in your life, then it’s not God. If it is going to be God, there must be something that brings the glory back to Him. By this I mean that you have done this and done that, but you go, “I still can’t explain how this worked out.” How would Esther explain her story? What service did she go for? In fact the book of Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is not mentioned. The entire plot of the story is about the mercy of God! The mercy of God writes the most beautiful stories, and it is time that the body of Christ again awakens to the power of mercy.

You have your part to play

Romans 9:16

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

Ecclesiastes 9:11

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

Please note, he never said not to will or to run. This is the balance to the message. He actually wants you willing and running.

He didn’t say not to be swift, neither is he saying you should not be strong. He’s not saying don’t go the battle. In fact He told Jehoshaphat, “The battle is not yours, it is the Lords” (2 Chronicles 20:17) but they still had to go to the battle. If the battle is the Lord’s, why don’t I just go home, sit in the palace, cross my legs, and sip some Arabian tea? But God said right in the next verse, “Arrange yourselves, get to the cliff of Ziz.” In other words, ‘I will fight, but you must show up.’

God wants you to do your part while understanding that you will not get the result because of your labour. It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth but of God who showeth mercy.


Faith is predicated on exact knowledge, but there are too many things we do not know. Mercy fills the gap of that ignorance and lack of knowledge. Faith is limited to knowledge. That is why the blind men said, “Thou Son of David, have mercy upon us.” (Matt 9:27,28) They did not ask for sight, they asked for mercy. Because, you see, you can restore sight and the thing that made them go blind in the first place is still there, so they go blind again. Mercy has an answer to everything at any time.

Faith is designed to be exact, but the mercy of God is the hand of God going beyond what you can believe for. The mercy of God is God’s hand reaching out to dip into things and places beyond what you can believe for. God wants to do far more than what you can believe for. He wants to give you stories beyond what you can take any credit for, where you know this is purely the hand of God. 

Faith is now and influences your future. Mercy reaches into your past and influence your future. Simple example; a young lady who lived a wayward life in the past, got an abortion and in the process her womb got ruptured. Now, though a believer, she is childless and plagued with the guilt of the life that she lived before, the guilt of thinking she is living under the consequences of errors past. Herein lies the power of the mercy of God. It reaches into your past, and corrects whatever effect that would have had on your now and on your future. There is no loss to the believer, because the mercy of God rewrites stories! In His mercy, God takes past errors and brings glory out of them.

The tendency to exalt your works in faith is high, but mercy requires a broken and a contrite heart, and these are the sacrifices of God. It is not the greatest prayer warriors that are the greatest healing evangelists. It is not the most astute orators that have the largest churches. It is only by the mercy of God. This eliminates every sense of pride.You may spend all night praying, but at the end you say, ‘Lord, I hope in your mercy.’ You don’t stand before God bragging on your faith. You stand before Him with a broken and a contrite heart.

The highest expression of faith is faith in the mercy of God. When all is said and done, and you think you have done your best or you are at your wits ends, then cast yourself on the mercy of God. 

You can pray for mercy

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

The most powerful prayer you can pray on earth is ‘God, have mercy on me.’ We come to obtain mercy FIRST, and after that we can find grace to help in time of need. When we stand before God, we come with an attitude seeking His mercy. This is the highest demonstration of our faith- faith in the mercy of God.

In our disposition towards God, our attitude and our relationship must be seeking mercy. You see, if one is not careful, there’s a way the revelation of the new creation can be received such that it almost pits you against God. When you study through scriptures you find that some of the greatest demonstrations of the power of God was with people were not even in faith. The widow of Nain, the man by the pool of Bethesda, the raising of Lazarus. Even Jesus was raised by the sure mercies of David (Acts 13:34). Faith for miracles has its place, but that is not all there is to God. Faith is not God - God has faith, but God is rich in mercy.

This article is a text excerpt from a sermon by Pastor Ayo Ajani, the Global Senior Pastor of Petra Christian Centre Churches, and the founder of TribePetra World Inc, also known as, Ayo Ajani Ministries International. You can read Pastor Ayo Ajani’s full biography on our website here.

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